A million years ago, when I started this blog, I gave everyone nicknames to protect their privacy. I had been intending to give the Professor the nickname of the Philosopher, since she was just starting out in grad school and philosophy was her field and it seemed like it might be fun to write about adventures with a philosopher, whereas–and I’m sorry to have to say this–writing about your adventures with a professor is not quite as awesome. Not that you can’t have adventures with professors. They’re just going to involve going to the library and having to run from giant boulders and angry Nazis and, eventually, the sidekick disappears and there’s a nuclear bomb. You get trapped on an island with a movie star. It’s more than my heart could take.
But adventures with a philosopher? Who the fuck even knows? You probably get banned from some countries. People found fake religions around you. People try to insult other people by calling them a [your name]ist. Parties are probably filled with people doing drugs you’ve never even heard of. Plato shows up and tries to argue that ghosts aren’t real. Men randomly take off their clothes and point at odd tattoos. There’s coffee and someone has always already made dinner. You meet actual communists. They’re talking about whether there’s enough of them to field a soccer team. You can’t tell if this is a lament over their lack of numbers or if they’re actually thinking about organizing into a soccer team. Things are delightfully weird, man, all the time.
Alas, I fucked up. And I called the Professor the Professor. It ended up fine anyway. It turns out that just calling someone the Professor doesn’t, in fact, mean you don’t have philosophical adventures with them. But it does mean that then you sit around waiting to see if the philosopher you know does eventually become a professor or if she just has some weird, not quite applicable nickname on your blog.
In order to be a professor, you need two things–the credentials to get a job where people call you “Professor” and you don’t feel like maybe you should clear up that misunderstanding and said job. Today they’re going to put that piece of paper in the Professor’s hand. Soon enough, she’ll be starting the job where people will call her their professor.
I’m really proud of her. And I hope she got one of those hats that looks like a throw pillow.